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Ethics committee picks former Brewer aide to lead Stringer probe

Joe Kanefield

Joe Kanefield

The House Ethics Committee has retained the law firm Ballard Spahr to handle the ethics investigation against Rep. David Stringer.

Attorney Joe Kanefield will lead the Ballard Spahr team, according to a press release announcing Ethics Chairman Rep. T.J. Shope’s decision on Monday.

Kanefield is the head of the firm’s politics and election law arm, and served as general counsel to former Gov. Jan Brewer, state elections director and in-house counsel to the secretary of state and as assistant attorney general among other posts.

Kanefield did not immediately return a call for comment.

Reps. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, and Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, have filed separate ethics complaints against Stringer, R-Prescott. The complaints target recorded comments Stringer made twice last year on race and immigration and multiple sex offense charges he faced in the ‘80s as reported by the Phoenix New Times.

Shope has urged anyone with additional relevant information to come forward to the committee, which may still widen the scope of the investigation if necessary.

Stringer will have an opportunity to provide his own comments to the committee regarding the allegations. He has so far ignored repeated calls for his resignation and has not returned multiple requests for comment on the investigation.

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